So I listened in a conference call today announcing a new campaign that Lamaze International has launched called “Push for Your Baby” which essentially aims to better empower women and their spouses and partners with all the information they need to make an informed decision about their labor, delivery, birth and recovery.
During the thirty minute event, its president-elect and director of its continuing education, special projects and Lamaze childbirth educator program at Duke, Tara Owens Shular explained that the effort is piggybacking off of several other national initiatives to reduce the number of inductions and “initial Cesareans in first time moms.”
On the call, Catherine Ruhl, director of Women’s Health Programs for the nurses association, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) explained that in the past there were “as few as 1 in 10” being given oxcytocin to induce labor to now “as much as 1 in 3 births” involve the drug which also doubles the risk of C-section. The pain reliever is “classified as a high alert medication, meaning it has an increased risk of causing harm if used incorrectly” and thus why AWHONN recommends one on one patient-nurse attention during its entire administration.
Ruhl also noted that the level of care should be equal irrespective of where a woman resides, yet acknowledged that is not the case. In Texas, for example, she explained a recent bill restricted Medicaid from covering elective inductions before 39 weeks, but some other states may permit it.
I know I certainly could relate. I had 3 c-sections: for my first I was not fully aware and educated on all of my options and succumbed to pressure to stop labor and deliver by noon; I had an OB during my second pregnancy who was not supportive AT ALL of my interest and desire to go for a V-Bac (vaginal birth after cesarean) and for my third, I was scheduled to have a third C-Section but before my turn on the operating table, my water broke naturally on its own, I went quickly through the stages of labor without being in too much pain and very well could’ve pushed the baby out and didn’t feel confident enough to ask to do just that because I was already scheduled to get a C-section.
It’s true. Lamaze Childbirth Edcuator Allison Walsh explained that there is so much information that women don’t know and that some do not consent to the treatment because of their ignorance in these areas. Walsh told of an example of a woman whose perfectly healthy and full term child was sent to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) after birth simply because she had a fever throughout delivery. She was unaware that a common side –effect of the pitocin she received during her induction is a fever and that her baby probably didn’t have to be sent to the NICU after all.
Look at that!
“As a lactation consultant seeing moms after their birth by their bedside, it is amazing to me how much women don’t know,” Walsh chimed in.
The session wrapped with a Q & A, but not before the showing of a heart wrenching video featuring 7 families sharing some of the pitfalls they suffered not being fully educated about their rights. One of the women in the video Jessica Deeb, was on the call and she opened up about being pressured to get a scheduled induction which left a scar on her uterus common in C-section that set her up for possible future complications for getting pregnant again and having challenges during pregnancy and delivery. “When I gave into the pressure and scheduled for an induction, that is the moment I lost control,” Deeb said.
You can check the video out for yourself here, but be forewarned, you may need some tissue while watching this, especially if you are currently pregnant and hormonal. Also, the campaign invites other parents to share their stories for a chance to win some awesome prizes.